Marriage is a journey, and as with any journey, it’s wise to consider where you want to go and how you want to get there before you begin.
Many people think that a prenuptial agreement means that a couple is planning to divorce before they even get married. In reality, a well-crafted prenuptial agreement means that a couple has had an intelligent and open discussion and agreed on major issues, such as money management and use of separate property. Many early marriage disagreements stem from a lack of planning and misunderstandings about money and property. Clarifying values and expectations avoids unpleasant surprises for both parties after you both say, “I do.” This paves the way for a successful relationship. Of course, if divorce should occur, having a prenuptial agreement or “prenup” in place means less fighting, a smoother transition, and much lower legal fees.
Virtually any couple can benefit from a prenup, but they are particularly useful in second marriages where there are children from a first marriage, or when one or both parties are bringing a substantial amount of assets to the marriage. The prenuptial agreement can specify what assets will be considered separate, and which are marital and subject to division in case of a divorce. The agreement can also address how the couple will deal with debt that each of them brings into the marriage, expectations about roles, and spousal support in the event of divorce.
Prenuptial agreements don’t cover every possible issue of concern. Issues like child custody and child support must be decided based on the best interests of the children. Therefore, provisions in a prenup having to deal with such matters typically are not enforceable.
A prenup requires more than a couple of signatures in order to be valid. This is why it is important to have an experienced Family Law attorney help put together a prenuptial contract that satisfies the wishes and concerns of both parties. At Boeheim Freeman Law, it is our goal to not just prepare a strong, well written contract, but also to insure that it is done with the care, understanding, and gentleness you and your spouse deserve.